We’re Not Responsible For Other People’s Happiness

February 23, 2012 by  
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One of the most difficult things to understand is that we’re not responsible for other people’s happiness. Better yet, that we have no control over it.

The reason it is so difficult is that sometimes someone who is close to us chooses time and again to see and experience life in the darkest way possible.  We try to show them there is a different way, but they are stuck in their dark perception.  They are unhappy and unnecessarily so.  It is frustrating and painful. But it is their choice and there is nothing we can do about it.  Insisting in the same methodology of trying to show light points to our incapacity to accept our own limitation.

I’m not suggesting giving up in being present in the lives of people we love who choose to be unhappy.  I’m suggesting we accept the fact that we can’t make anyone change if they don’t want to.  I suggest not adding to the situation by embracing the unhappiness and frustration ourselves.

Getting to a place of acceptance can be difficult because we often think there is one more thing we can try or we think we can change others if we only apply ourselves a little more.  But, the truth is we know it really isn’t up to us.

Accepting that others have the control of their experience is an indicator of our own growth.  We can offer compassion and friendship, but as we are responsible for our happiness so are others for theirs.

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Staying In The Flow Of Life

October 14, 2011 by  
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Photo By Angie Rubin

“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them — that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.” – Lao-Tzu

So much pain and disappointment come from not accepting reality when it presents itself to us as a fact and a force that cannot be changed.  If we don’t this reality we think:  I don’t deserve this or Why me?  And then we rebel against that which cannot be changed.

What we forget is that nature and life have their own rhythm.  It is not personal. “Bad” things aren’t happening to us because we are evil people.  “Bad” things like “good” things are just expressions of life.  The qualities we apply – bad or good – come from our interpretation of them.  To life it is simply experience.

Understanding the purpose of life – to gain wisdom through experiences – allows us to accept the flow of life with more ease.  We start to see that even that which hurts has a purpose.

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Make Your Life Be What You Dream

August 1, 2011 by  
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For a great part of my life I heard people telling me: “You dream too big. Lower your expectations and you will be happier.”  In a way it makes sense, right? If I lower my expectations I have to achieve less, and therefore when I do get to achieve the lesser expectations I’ll be completely happy.  It sounds cohesive, but it is fundamentally wrong.  The dreams we have is what fuels us to get up, research, investigate, invest, think, struggle, cry, and laugh.  The dreams we have is what makes our journey a series of vibrant experiences.  Lowering our expectations means giving up on what fuels us.

The point is; it doesn’t matter if we achieve everything we set ourselves out to.  What matters is that we keep on creating goals and dreams to be our destination, the bigger the dream the bigger the journey.

Don’t sell yourself short.  If you are surrounded by people who want to damp your greater dreams, befriend others that will support you on your journey.

Life is about experiences.  How we plot to get where we want to go and how we deal with the successes and the obstacles.

Just make sure your goals are worthwhile. Don’t waste your life by dreaming about becoming famous just for the sake of it.  Let being famous become a consequence of some worthwhile endeavor.  If you dream about being rich, make being rich a consequence of something amazing that is going to change the way people see themselves and live their lives.  Why not? Dream big and live big.

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined – Henry David Thoreau

In the confrontation between the stream and the rock, the stream always wins – not through strength, but through persistence.
Buddha

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Let Go Of The Anger

April 22, 2010 by  
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heartsMost of us have had difficult experiences in our lives and the older we get the higher are the probabilities of us having traumatic experiences.

I’m an “early bloomer” and so I’ve already had a few of both.   Some remembrances bring back pain and some bring back anger.   I’m now particularly thinking about the ones that bring back anger.  These are usually situations where we have been taken advantage of or didn’t make the right decision and ended up paying a high price.   Whatever the reasons were that ended up leaving us with an anger memory, the reality is; it is the past.  No matter what we do today it will not change what has already happened.

When we feel the anger come up the best thing to do is to remember we were different people at the time the event happened.  We had a different set of thoughts and skills than the ones we have today.  Whatever judgments we make today; “how could I have been so stupid?”  “why didn’t I do this or that?” are not fair to ourselves.  We were different people.

The next thing to remember is whatever happened is part of who we are today.  So being a person that today can recognize situations that shouldn’t have happened is a direct result of the things that shouldn’t have happened.

Lastly, remember that life is about learning and experiencing.  Putting too much anger onto things that can’t change keeps us stuck.  So the best thing is to let go of the anger and keep on living and learning.

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